Should I fasten on girth straps 1 & 3?
The old rule used to be; Use girth straps 1 & 3, however many saddles are now manufactured with more than 3 girth fixings so greater awareness is required.
The first image shows 3 straps in the traditional position or what I would call neutral girthing.
The 2nd image shows 3 girth straps however the 1st strap is classed as a ‘point strap’ because it’s fixing is attached to the tree point (the arms if you like of the saddle tree).
A point strap is very useful for those horses who have a forward girth line or if they are inclined to travel the saddle forward.
Caution should be applied when fastening on the point strap as it can give a firmer contact behind the shoulder and while this might not be an issue for some horses others might not find this as comfortable. Therefore the neutral position for the second image is actually girth straps 2 & 3.
Both images also feature a web further back to enable a further girth fixing in the balance position.
It’s always worth checking with your saddle fitter which girth straps you should use to maintain optimum girthing alignment for your horse .